Release Date
August 9, 2013
Neill Blomkamp
Neill Blomkamp
Distributed By
TriStar Pictures
$115 million
Action, Drama, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout
109 minutes


Following a retreaded story structure, “Elysium” sticks out as a strong science fiction action film for its impressive visuals, more-so over its ability to tell a captivating story, however, the strong allusions to unbalanced socio-economical classes and unequal distribution of wealth help differentiate it from similar sci-fi flicks. Much like his directorial debut, Neill Blomkamp has no problem weaving his visual concepts with his glimpse into the future of Earth. In this impoverished future, Earth in inhabited by the poor, living in squalor among dumps and with poor healthcare. The rich, however, have fled Earth and are orbiting in an enormous space station paradise called Elysium. Here, there are robots to serve and protect, and healthcare comes in the form of an MRI-looking machine that fixes any illness you may have, be it a fractured bone or even caner.

Matt Damon leads this endeavor as Max Da Costa, a former car thief turned factory worker who suffers a radiation accident within the first act of the film, giving him 5 days to live. Determined to get to Elysium to get medical treatment, he turns to his former boss, Spider (Wagner Moura), huge hacker and black market kingpin, who offers him a way out, attaching a metal harness to his entire body, making him part human, part machine. “Elysium” succeeds wonderfully as a straight up action film, producing some highly entertaining action sequences, especially between Max and Kruger, played by Sharlto Copley of “District 9” fame, who also wear a metallic harness.

Performance-wise, “Elysium” is somewhat lacking, Damon, Copley, and even Alice Braga as love-interest Frey are all convincing, but Jodie Foster and William Fichtner tend to phone-in their performances, with Foster delivering horridly paced lines and attaching a completely dismal accent. One thing you’ll notice during the credits sequence of the film is that the visual effects are a fraction of the size compared to most big budget science fiction action films nowadays, but “Elysium” has amazingly striking visuals with half the effects crew, which is entirely impressive to say the least. Neill Blomkamp proves wonders with his sophomore endeavor, giving piece of mind to those that questioned whether he could knock it out of the park twice in a row.


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